‘Preferable’ Thesis Tenure Working for Students of ‘Bachelor of Planning’

The following Infographic has been prepared based on “my” experience during the Bachelor of Planning tenure in School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi. The concepts and ideas may differ from people’s interest, pace, opinion, and approach. It is not necessary to follow the same as mentioned in the info graph. Changes can be made as per person’s interest and opinion. I’ve tried to condense my knowledge, experience and most importantly mistakes committed during the course. The motivation behind drafting of the info graph is to give an idea about Thesis tenure working and be well prepared for efficient utilization of the research period.

Introduction to the Curriculum

Bachelor of Planning is a 4-year course that very well inculcates an amalgamation of social science and software skills into students by its manifold course curriculum. The course is still in its developing phase regarding expansion and familiarity (compared to Architecture and Civil engineering) in the country. There is an ever-increasing demand in market for professional planners (AMRUT, Development Authorities, Consultancies, CSR, Education sector to name a few) with all round development and with good software knowledge.

Penultimate Work

Before the beginning of Thesis (including dissertation) tenure, one may explore the following aspects for a clarity of thought regarding selection of topic. The tasks mentioned below may help in zeroing down to the spectrum of aspects, from which Thesis topic may be chosen.

  1. Alumni Opinion: Exploration of opinions and experiences of Alumnus who are placed in the Market, to get an understanding of aspects that are relevant in contemporary scenario. Pros and Cons of Subject Arena should be well known before beginning the work.
  2. Market Scenario: Understanding of Market Scenario is a critical task. One needs to make note of relevant demand and need in the profession after graduation. One can streamline their work with the relevant aspect and think of career prospects in the particular field.
  3. Future Prospect: As a year is spent in preparing of a full-fledged Thesis, it is important to explore the future prospects from the work. For example, publication, preparation of project, for post-graduation, use in any competition, etc.
  4. Aspect Spectrum: Not necessarily zeroing down to the thesis topic, but at least a spectrum or arena in which one is planning to work should be finalized.

Main objective of preliminary research should be to identify the niche, in order to get an idea about value of the proposal.

Also Read: The Timeline: A Guide for Students of Planning

Info graph Elucidation

The Info graph layout is divided into 2 zones:

a. Zone 1

Zone 1

b. Zone 2

Zone 2

Also Read: HOW TO WRITE A THESIS: Steps by step guide

Zone 1: Sample selection

Note: All the respective factors from each aspect has been allotted a unique code that represents the same. For E.g.: Code for the factor “Formalized Approach” is “F”, Code for In Midst is “I”, etc. The idea is to differentiate all the students based on their respective approach and factor selection. There is possibility of outliers too.

Setting the Context

Each person takes up/should take up working of their thesis on their own capacity, pace and way of implementation. Having done Bachelor of Planning Thesis, I’ve tried to consider all of the factors based on my experience and understanding, that directly/indirectly affect thesis work and overall performance. Aspects include Approach Selection, Working on Studio aspects, Internships undertaken, and Permutations with Guide. Every student may select the sample set based on their Idea and Situation. The Aspects with subsequent factors within and their elucidation are as follows:

Aspect 1: Approach Selection: It defines the motivation and purpose with which a student begins his/her thesis tenure. Factors for this aspect are Formalized, Casual, and In Midst)

Factor 1: Formalized: represents the approach wherein the decided thesis topic or arena is market inspired, future prospect inspired or back experience inspired

Factor 2: Casual: Just for the sake of finishing the work and getting over the task of completion of thesis.

Factor 3: In Midst: May or may not streamline arena chosen for thesis in Professional Practice.

Aspect 2: Correlation: It defines weather there has been any correlation between Thesis spectrum/topic chosen and Studio work undertaken. Factors for this aspect are Correlated Studio Aspect and Diversified Studio Aspect.

Factor 1: Correlated Studio: worked on Studio aspects that correlates with Thesis topic/spectrum chosen for research.

Factor 2: Diversified Studio: have never worked on Studio aspects that correlates with Thesis topic/spectrum chosen for research.

Aspect 3: Internship: It defines the correlation among Internship work and Thesis spectrum/topic chosen. Factors for this aspect are Both 1 and 2, Any of 1 and 2, and None.

Factor 1: Both 1 and 2 defines both Internship was done in correlated thesis topic.

Factor 2: Any of 1 and 2: any one of 1st and 2nd internship was done in correlated thesis topic.

Factor 3: None of Internships were in correlation to the thesis topic.

Aspect 4: Guide: It defines the permutation between Thesis Guide, and Co-Guide with the Student. The Aspect of Guide plays a major role in structuring the overall work. Factors for the Aspect are Favourable Guide and Unfavourable Guide.

Favourable Guide: The Thesis Guide and Co-Guide get along with the student regarding Thesis work.

Unfavourable Guide: The Thesis Guide or Co-Guide doesn’t get along very well with the student regarding Thesis work.

A combination of all the above factors mentioned brings out Individual Sample, based on which Preferable timeline can be chosen. For better elucidation, here’s a case study of a sample student “A”

Post penultimate Analysis of market and review from Alumnus, the student wishes to pursue a career in Transport Planning, for which he undertook studio aspect of Transportation in his 5th, and 7th semester studio work. He also undertook both his Internships in Transport department, like DMRC, and NCRTC. The guide is very supportive to the student, and takes all initiative to introduce Thesis related concepts to the student.

Hence, the factors that best define all approaches of student are Formalized Approach, Correlated Studio Aspect, Both 1 and 2, with Favourable Guide. Therefore, the sampling comes out to be F(C)BF.

Zone 2:

Based on the sample one falls in, there’s ‘Preferable Activity’ focus in Zone 2. The graph incorporates major focus in terms of time, work and efficiency in the respective activities mentioned. Activities mentioned in the Y axis of the Timeline are based on Thesis tenure segregation as per college schedule of reviews, which incorporates Literature survey, Data Collection, Analysis, Proposal, Co-Curricular.

For example, a student lying in the sample of F(C)AF lies in Sample 2, hence, he/she should devote maximum time, energy, efficiency, toil of the research tenure in perfection of Literature Study, followed by Data Collection, Analysis, Proposal and finally Co-Curricular. The larger area devotion towards one of the Activities doesn’t mean non importance of other activities. Idea is only to emphasize more on a particular activity in order to use the results and learning for future.

Also, the preferable timeline mentioned in zone 2 illustrates time allotment for different activities throughout the thesis tenure of 10 months (mentioned as M1, M2, M3, etc., including dissertation). The graph devotes area and space a particular activity will take in the final 12 months of college as per Thesis schedule of college. It is shown here in order to give a beforehand idea to budding Planners about tenure breakage for preparation. A very important aspect of not only the Thesis tenure but the whole of Bachelor of Planning course is the composition of sheets. As per my experience, the preferred composition of sheets wherein content and theoretical dissemination is incorporated can be (33×3 + 1) that includes 33% Talk about Objectives framed, 33% is the Answering of Questions framed, 33% is to set the game for upcoming content. Finally, 1% goes for Designing. Overall, it’s a niche that you have to identify during the Literature study that needs to be fulfilled during the Thesis tenure.

Case Study

I shall take my own case study for reference. My thesis topic was “Integration of Refugees into Cities: A Case Study of Majnu ka Tilla, Delhi”

Post Penultimate analysis, I wanted to take a topic that would incorporate proposal at all scales (Legislation, Concept, Regional, Design and Site Plan). Also, I wanted to use the same for publication in a reputed University competition. Hence, the factor for Aspect of Approach Selection was Formalized (F). None of my studio aspects were directly aligned with the literature of Topic I had chosen, so Factor for the aspect of Correlation is Diversified (D). One of my Internships in college tenure had aspect of Redevelopment and Retrofitting in Place (A). Although I had a favourable Guide, but there was some resistance from Co-Guide (initially frustrating, but helped in the larger perspective), U. Overall, my sampling code came out to be F(D)A(U), hence, Sample 4 timeline is the one that I should’ve preferably followed, i.e, more emphasis on Literature Study, and Co-curricular.

Concluding remarks

Planning as a course teaches you about a process to explore, analyse, identify, propose and finally implement and monitor that has universal applicability. A year of research in Thesis plays a crucial role in defining further course of action for students. It is not necessary to streamline one’s future job and opportunities in the same aspect as Thesis. The process followed in Thesis tenure, starting from literature study, data collection, analysis and finally proposal is in modular structure and can be adopted at any junction of professional work. Fields like Architecture and Planning require good amount of patience, extensive exploration and compromise in initial years. But with fine exploration, marketing of skillset and an outstanding portfolio, it will definitely embrace new opportunities.

Most important of all “DO NOT SKIP/COMPARE/RAT RACE”. Each one is unique in their own terms.

Process is more important than the Product, hence enjoy the process!

Following are my social media handles for any kind of assistance regarding the info graph or the course. I hope future budding planners make the most out of it.


Prabhat Yadav

(B.Plan from School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi

Project Associate, HCL Foundation)

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/prabhatydv1/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/prabhatydv1/


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